7


Artist: Radouan Mriziga
Country: Belgium / Morocco 
Year of creation: 2017

Each era has its wonders of the world, the idea of an impossibility that is nevertheless constructed, bigger and more impressive that anything the world has known. These architectural and artistic tours de force mark the victory of man over his physical limits and the laws of nature. But isn’t the human body, that has devised and made these imposing wonders, even more wondrous? Isn’t it more mysterious and more beautiful than the giants we are surrounding ourselves by? How does the body behave to the gigantic architectures of our environment and how would they change when we start to think from the body again?

Once again, the relationship between dance, construction and architecture is at the heart of Radoaun Mriziga's work. In a precise and refined choreography, Mriziga confronts the beauty of the moving body with the geometric power of architecture and sculpture.

7 heads off on a quest for the world’s ultimate miracle: the human body.


CREDITS

Concept / Choreography
Radouan Mriziga 


Co-created and performed by
Radouan Mriziga
Maïté Jeannolin
Zoltán Vakulya
Bruno Freire
Eleni-Ellada Damianou
Lana Schneider
Jalil El Yazidi
(originally performed by Suhad Najm Abdullah)


Visual artist
Lana Schneider


Musician
Jalil El Yazidi (originally performed by Suhad Najm Abdullah)


Costumes
Annabelle Locks


Dramaturgical advice
Esther Severi


Artistic advice
Alina Bilokon


Assistant
Sara Chéu


Creative Producer
Moussem - Nomadic Arts Centre


Distribution & Tour Management
Something Great

Administration
A7LA5

Co-production 
Kaaitheater
Sharjah Art Foundation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts
C-Mine
Vooruit
PACT Zollverein

in the context of European Network DNA (Departures and Arrivals) co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union

In collaboration with
Pianofabriek
Charleroi Danses
STUK 


Acknowledgements
Jozef Wouters 


PRESS 

In his works, Mriziga frequently referes to the hierarchy of relationships between the intellect, the body, and the spirit. The “western” inclination is, and has been for many centuries, to prize the intellect over the body and the spirit. In contrast, he emphasizes the fallibility of this concept, arguing that intellect and body exist horizontally: that is, (mostly) level with one another. For him, these elements are not one and the same; within an artistic and abstract context, he allows for variation and emphasizes emotional reactions to and intuitive participation with his work; and, by extension, to other works of art.

Acting in toxic accordance with this concept, he says, is another hierarchy: that which places more value on certain methods of communicating and storing knowledge than others. Predictably, the most highly valued methods are the “western” ones; anything written or empirical, under this system of classification, is deemed inherently more valid than information communicated in other ways. This scale of assigned acceptability marginalizes cultures and people who store, communicate, and discuss knowledge in other ways. In limiting the spread and consumption of information in this way, he notes, we confine ourselves to certain methods and dimensions of expression and lose out on a great deal of learning.

In 55, 3600 and 7, Mriziga confronts these concepts among others, challenging audiences to reconsider the mind/body/spirit hierarchy and work to accept new ways in which we can communicate and apply knowledge.

In 55, the first installment in the trilogy, he constructs a two-dimensional space using chalk and tape; the measurements for this space are both defined and given by the body and its movement. In this work, he both defines the physical with respect to what it can create and defines the creation in terms of the physical; the body constructs the space, so the space is constructed for that body.

In 3600, he broadens both the conceptual and physical scope of his work; the construction in this piece yields a three-dimensional product.

In 7, Mriziga adds both time and imagination to the other three dimensions, inviting and requiring the audience’s direct engagement.

Influenced by the seven wonders of the

ancient world, spectators hold these monuments in their imaginations while not actually seeing them represented on stage. In this way, the space created is one that that takes shape collectively.

One shouldn’t expect a spectacle: one will be participating in the creation of a multi-dimensional space simply by his or her presence. Nevetheless, in this performance the audience is not a passive or amorphous; it is an active part of the piece. 

Morgan Amonett, Wexner Center for the Arts, November 4 2019. 


Photographs: 7 © Marc Domage / Bruno Simão / Benjamin Boar